Een onthutsend verslag:
Villagers dashed into their basements, fearing a bomb attack. Residents in a nearby village ran for the church, certain that the world was coming to an end. A colleague of Ms. Voloshina screamed after being nearly hit by the plane’s cargo hold. Days later, the 43-year-old mayor found the bottom half of a man’s body in the shrubs next to her office. She has barely slept since then. […]
“We thought it was the end of the world,” the Orthodox priest says. He stayed on the ground in prayer, preparing to meet God, and then ran up the hill as burning pieces of the plane’s undercarriage and landing gear pelted a field like bombs. Then came a hail of bodies: arms, heads and fingers. […]
In Petropavlivka, the suggestion that locals took the belongings of some crash victims offends Ms. Voloshina, the mayor. Her husband joined fellow miners who volunteered to comb the fields in search of bodies. They wore purple latex gloves and carted out the passengers on what looked like Soviet-era stretchers before placing the bodies in bags.
“It’s hard for him to talk,” Ms. Voloshina says. “He’s a tall, strong man, and he still has tears in his eyes from that.”
On Thursday, an elderly woman showed up at her office in tears and handed over a doll with the name Emma stitched in pink across its shirt. The woman was digging potatoes. Emma turned up instead.